Summer workouts are underway as San Jose State men’s basketball seeks to improve from a 9-22 season.
“We’ve been getting up every day at 6:00 in the morning for court work, and then after that we have an hour break,” explained redshirt junior guard Jalen James. “We head to the weight room at 8 to 9, and then we come back for individual workouts and team practice for an hour.”
The team has focused on strength and weightlifting at this moment, says head coach Dave Wojcik.
“We’ve had a good, solid five weeks, finishing up this week obviously with summer school with some of these guys,” said Wojcik. This week is the last in San Jose State’s first summer session, and the second summer session begins next Monday.
“I have goals to get my weight up to 180,” said James, who is listed in the 2015-16 roster with a weight of 170 pounds.
Guard Gary Williams, Jr., one of two seniors on next year’s team, said he is working on his jump shot and becoming a potential leader for his teammates.
“I’ve been trying to get a consistent three-point shot,” said Williams, who also added that he is moving from point guard to shooting guard in the coming season.
“I just want to leave my team and preach to them that hard work is what it’s going to take to be successful,” added Williams about being a potential team captain.
All five members of Wojcik’s 2015 recruiting class are still with the team. In contrast, eight of the 15 players Wojcik recruited in 2013 and 2014 left the team early, including two after last season: redshirt freshman center Leon Bahner and walk-on sophomore guard Danny Mahoney. Wojcik credits this improved retention rate to the good character in his newer recruits and respect that the players have for each other.
“They like each other, and they want to do something special here,” explained Wojcik.
One member of Wojcik’s 2016 recruiting class, redshirt sophomore guard EJ Boyce, has already enrolled in classes at San Jose State and is currently practicing with the team. Boyce is a walk-on junior college transfer from Southern Idaho. Wojcik said that two of his high school recruits, guards Nai Carlisle and Isaiah Nichols, will join team practices later this week as they enroll in the second summer session.
Meanwhile, center Ashtin Chastain, who sat out his true freshman season last year due to injury, continues to rehabilitate from a foot injury. In a photo posted last month on Instagram by sophomore guard Ryan Welage, Chastain (farthest right) is wearing a boot on his right foot.
Wojcik expects Chastain to recover from his foot injury by the next summer session.
“He’s done a great job of maintaining his body, keeping his weight where it should be, and his body fat where it should be,” added Wojcik about Chastain.